Identification and Validation of Atypical N-Glycosylation Sites

Sun S, Zhang H. Anal Chem. 2015 Dec 15;87(24):11948-51. doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.5b03886. PMID: 26593774

It is well-known that N-linked glycans usually attach to asparagine residues in the N-X-S/T motifs of proteins. However, accumulating evidence indicates that N-glycosylation could also possibly occur at other atypical motifs. In this study, we tried to identify atypical N-glycosylation sites using our recently developed solid-phase extraction of the N-linked Glycans And Glycosite-containing peptides (NGAG) method. Peptides with deamidation sites at asparagine residues but lacking a typical asparagine-X-serine/threonine sequons (N-X-S/T, X is any amino acid except proline) motif were identified from deglycosylated peptide data as potentially atypical glycosite-containing peptides. These atypical glycosites were verified by the presence of glycans on their intact glycopeptides and further confirmed by specific inhibition of cells with an N-linked glycosylation inhibitor, tunicamycin. From this study, two atypical N-linked glycosylation sites with N-X-C and N-X-V motifs were identified and validated from an ovarian cancer cell line (OVCAR-3).